Lower prices of fruits, vegetables save lives
Slashing the prices of fruits and vegetables lowers the risks of heart disease and stroke, researchers at the American Heart Association reported.
Results of the study, published in the website of National Public Radio, said dropping the prices of fruits and vegetables by 30 percent can save nearly 200,000 lives over 15 years.
The researchers said adjusting prices is more effective than encouraging people to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, lead researcher, told NPR the impact is better across the population, regardless of age, gender, race and ethnicity.
Pricing affects health, researchers said, because lower prices make healthy food more accessible and appealing to people.
American Heart Association president Dr. Mark Creager, a cardiovascular disease expert, also noted to NPR that raising the prices of cigarettes and soda pushed consumption down, which meant less risks from tobacco-related illnesses and weight problems.
Researchers said studies should be done on the impact of financial incentives to encourage healthy eating.
Experts suggested that aside from subsidies, funding the production of fruits and vegetables, giving bonus points, and making healthy food more available to the public would be good starting points.